The ‘Researchers meet Innovators’ conference was held in Kyiv, Ukraine on 19-20 April at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. The event was organised together with the Bridging Science and Business working group of MCAA (Marie Curie Alumni Association). The conference was attended by more than 40 participants from Kyiv, other regions of Ukraine, Serbia, and Nigeria. The attendees actively participated in two panel discussions and listened to presentations of about 20 speakers from NaUKMA, other universities of Kyiv, the Ministry of Culture, the Ukrainian National Startup Fund, a startup from Odessa, a student incubator in Kharkiv, academics from Austria, the Netherlands and Turkey.
In line with Cluster 4 ‘Capacity building’ of ESAA-led projects, both days of the event were packed with presentations on a variety of topics. Visitors had the opportunity to hear about the experience of startups from Ukraine and France, learn how to promote their ideas, listen to the experience of German companies, and much more. During the panel discussion on the first day of the event, the speakers discussed what awaits projects on the brink of science and industry in Ukraine. The chair of the session, the Vice-chair of MCAA, Mostafa Monir, as well as three speakers of the panel discussion were very pleased with the outcome of the discussion. They plan to publish a scientific article on the results of the discussion.
The main organiser of the event, Pavlo Bazilinskyy, gave a presentation with an overview of activities of both ESAA and MCAA. The students in the audience had an opportunity to ask questions about applying for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) programmes. We hope that one of the outcomes of the conference will be the increase in the amount of successful applications for the EMJMD programmes from Ukraine, which aligns with Cluster 1 ‘Strengthening higher education quality’ and Cluster 3 ‘Increasing Social Inclusion, Empowerment, and Participation’ of ESAA-led projects.Upon completion of the first day, both speakers and participants were invited to join the networking dinner. Both during the dinner and coffee breaks, important connections were made, and plans for future collaboration were discussed.
On Saturday, the participants had a chance to hear about the well-established system of cooperation between science and industry in Austria and the Netherlands. Murat Gunes, the Secretary of MCAA, shared his experience on how to network in academia. Then, the project manager and ultramarathon runner Oleg Lebedev introduced his project ‘Esoteric Project Management’, which focuses on the importance of mindfulness and meditation in managing people and tasks. The conference ended with the second panel discussion, where representatives from four Ukrainian startups discussed how to grow your company and not to get stuck at the startup level forever.
The talks were recorded. And selected videos will be made available on the YouTube channel of MCAA. Both speakers and participants were pleased with the conference. The organizers hope that this meeting will serve as the basis for further discussion on how to establish the collaboration between science and business in Ukraine.
On July 11-12, the 2nd ‘Researchers meet Innovators’ conference will take place at TU Berlin. You are invited to join us there!